Gregor Clegane

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Gregor Clegane
House Clegane.png
House Clegane.png
Komarck Gregor Clegane FFG.jpg
Gregor Clegane by Michael Komarck©

Alias The Mountain That Rides
The Mountain
The Great Dog
The Enormity That Rides
Title Ser
Knight of Clegane's Keep
Allegiance House Clegane
House Lannister
Born In 265 AC or 266 AC[1]
Died In 300 AC
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (appears)
A Clash of Kings (appears)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)

Played by Conan Stevens ~ Season 1
Ian Whyte ~ Season 2
Hafthor Julius Bjornsson ~ Season 4 - Season 6
TV series Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 4| Season 5 | Season 6

Ser Gregor Clegane is the Knight of Clegane's Keep and is the head of House Clegane, which are landed knights and bannermen to House Lannister. Gregor is a freakishly large man and for this he is often called The Mountain That Rides or simply The Mountain. His soldiers are known as the Mountain's men.

In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, Gregor is played by Conan Stevens (Season 1), Ian Whyte (Season 2), and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (Season 4-Season 6).[2]

Character and Appearance

See also: Images of Gregor Clegane

Gregor is well known for his size, cruelty, and prowess in battle. Gregor is extremely tall (he is close to eight feet in height or 2,4 meters). He has "massive shoulders and arms thick as the trunk of small trees" [3], and a voice like stone breaking. Gregor weighs over thirty stone (420 lbs, or 190 kgs), nearly all of it muscle, making him near inhumanly strong. Gregor's strength allows him to wield a six-foot, two-handed greatsword with just one hand, giving him enormous reach while still wielding a shield. Such is the power of Gregor's strength that he has been known to hack men in half with just a single blow.[4]

In battle Gregor wears the heaviest, thickest plate armor in the Seven Kingdoms. His armor is so heavy that no ordinary man would be able to move, let alone fight effectively while wearing it,[4] making him nigh-invincible in combat. Below the plate he wears chainmail and boiled leather. He also wears a plate helm with only a narrow slit for vision, atop of which is a stone fist punching up towards the sky. Gregor carries an extremely thick oaken shield bearing the three black dogs of House Clegane on a yellow field.[4]

Gregor is known for his violence and cruelty. He is a sadistic murderer and rapist. Ser Brynden Tully compares him to a "frothing dog".[5] Despite being a dim and brutal man he has excellent warrior instincts.[4] He is solitary, never leaving his own lands except for wars or tournaments.[3]

According to his squire, Joss Stilwood, Gregor constantly suffers from extreme headaches and consumes vast quantities of milk of the poppy to try and dull the pain. The cause of these headaches is unknown, perhaps due to some condition of his gigantism, though Merrett Frey's experiences indicate that a tourney injury or head blow in battle can be debilitating.[6] This might be an explanation for Gregor's near uncontrollable temper. According to his brother, Sandor Clegane, Gregor once killed one of his own men because the soldier snored too loudly.[7]

History

Gregor kills Prince Aegon in front of Princess Elia Martell

Gregor's history is dark and filled with blood. As a young boy, eleven or twelve years old, he caused his brother Sandor's facial scars by holding the younger boy's face to a hot brazier as punishment for playing with a toy he had discarded. Their father spread the story that the injuries were caused by bedding that had caught fire.[8]

Four years later, Gregor was knighted by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen,[8] presumably prior to the tourney of Harrenhal.[9] There were rumors that Gregor killed his father, sister, and his first two wives. His keep is said to be a grim place where servants vanish unaccountably and even the dogs are afraid to enter the halls.[3] Gregor has committed rapes and cold-blooded murders beyond count but his most infamous deed came from his service to House Lannister during Robert's Rebellion.

At the age of seventeen, Gregor was one of the first Lannister soldiers to enter King's Landing during its sack at the end of the war. He and Ser Amory Lorch scaled Maegor's Holdfast when the Lannister troops reached the Red Keep. Gregor entered the nursery of the infant Prince Aegon, son of Prince Rhaegar, and killed the baby present by dashing the boy's head against a wall. Then he raped and murdered Aegon's mother, Princess Elia, supposedly with the boy's blood and brains still on his hands.[3][10][11]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Gregor during the Hand's tourney in Game of Thrones.

Ser Gregor takes part in the Hand's tourney. He slays Ser Hugh of the Vale in his second joust when his lance rides up and pierces the new-made knight's throat. According to Sandor Clegane, Gregor noticed the knight's gorget was not fastened properly and Gregor purposely drove his lance there.[8] He defeats Ser Balon Swann, but is finally unhorsed by Ser Loras Tyrell, who rides a mare in heat to the joust, which unnerves Gregor's stallion. Gregor falls into a rage and kills his stallion with one blow of his sword. He then attacks the unprepared Loras, and would have killed him if his brother Sandor had not intercepted him. He finally comes to his senses when King Robert I Baratheon orders him to stop.[3]

After the tourney, Gregor rides back to his keep. Upon his journey home from the tourney with seven of his men, Gregor broods on his loss. An overflowing river detours the group to a nearby alehouse, where he and his men gang rape the brewer's thirteen-year-old daughter, Layna.[12]

After Tyrion Lannister is kidnapped by Catelyn Stark, Gregor is commanded by Lord Tywin Lannister to raid the riverlands to draw Eddard Stark, the Hand of the King, out into the field. However, Eddard, due to his injured leg, cannot go and execute Gregor himself, instead sending Lord Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr to lead a party and bring Gregor to the king's justice.[13] Gregor and Tywin ambush this party, Gregor killing Beric in the ensuing clash at the Mummer's Ford.[14] The Mountain also takes Stone Hedge, putting the castle to the torch, taking its food supplies, and burning the harvest of Lord Jonos Bracken. He then rapes one of Bracken's daughters.[15]

After the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings, Gregor joins with Tywin's host and commands the vanguard and the left flank during the battle on the Green Fork, leading by intimidation. In the first charge, his horse is killed by Karstark spearmen, but Gregor is unhurt and goes on fighting.[16] After the victory, Gregor sits with Tywin's war council at the crossroads when they receive word of Ser Jaime Lannister's capture at the Whispering Wood; the Mountain suggests the outriders' eyes be put out and given to their replacements as a warning for failure to scout the Stark movements. Tywin withdraws to Harrenhal but leaves Gregor and other raiders behind to harry the riverlands, each of them commanding three hundred cavalry.[17]

The Mountain with the Mountain's men - by Nordheimer ©

A Clash of Kings

Gregor's band sacks Castle Darry, where Gregor kills the eight-year-old Lord Lyman Darry.[5] Gregor continues his raiding, causing enormous destruction and killing entire villages with impunity. For a time he unwittingly holds Arya Stark as a captive, and she witnesses many of his atrocities firsthand.[18] His band marches any surviving captives back to Harrenhal where they are forced into servitude to House Lannister. During the War of the Five Kings Gregor's band fights numerous skirmishes with the brotherhood without banners; one such skirmish results in Gregor killing Beric Dondarrion a second time.

During the Battle of the Fords, Gregor Clegane's band joins up with Tywin's host and attacks the crossing of the Red Fork at the Stone Mill, which is defended by Ser Edmure Tully's forces. Gregor's force is pushed back, however, and he is forced to retreat.[19]

A Storm of Swords

Ser Gregor's band joins with Randyll Tarly's army to surround what is left of the retreating northern army that attacks Duskendale.[20] He chases Lord Roose Bolton's army as they march to the Twins, taking several highborn captives including Ser Wylis Manderly in the fighting at the fords of the Trident.[21] Lord Tywin Lannister then orders Gregor to retake Harrenhal, which is held by Vargo Hoat and the Brave Companions, and put the castle to the sword.[11][22] A cook of Harrenhal who had his foot cut off by Hoat wanted revenge and opens a postern gate for Clegane. Inside, Gregor's men slaughter the inhabitants and the defenders (bar the cook who opened the gate, the castle smith Ben Blackthumb and a girl named Pia who the Mountain and his men rape repeatedly). The Mountain gives special treatment to Vargo, who is known as "the Goat", forcing him to eat his own cooked limbs ("roast goat") and serving him to the captive northmen as well.[23]

When Prince Oberyn Martell comes to King's Landing to claim the seat on the small council on Prince Doran Martell's behalf and obtain justice for the murder of their sister, Elia Martell, and her children, as was agreed with the acting Hand of the King, Tyrion Lannister,[24] the new Hand, Lord Tywin Lannister, means to forgo that promise. Tywin plans on lying to Oberyn and claiming that the deceased Ser Amory Lorch was to blame for all three deaths. While Amory was guilty of the murder of Princess Rhaenys, he was not responsible for the deaths of Elia and Prince Aegon. Tywin intends to keep Gregor far away from King's Landing during Oberyn's stay.[11] He sends the Mountain and others to search for his son Jaime when he learns of his release from Riverrun, but Jaime arrives at the capital under the guard of Brienne of Tarth.[25]

Gregor Clegane fighting Oberyn Martell - by Zippo514 ©

Tywin's plan to keep Gregor away is ruined when Tyrion is put on trial for the murder of King Joffrey I Baratheon and Tyrion's accuser, Queen Regent Cersei Lannister, announces that her champion will be Gregor in the event of a trial by combat. Cersei names Gregor in order to thwart Tyrion from using Bronn or anyone else to defend him in a trial by combat given Gregor's monstrous reputation.[26] This move, however, leads Elia's brother, Oberyn, on seeing a chance to fulfill House Martell's long-held desire for vengeance against her murderer, to agree to champion Tyrion in opposition.

Gregor fights in his usual style - with heavy armor, his thick oaken shield and his greatsword in one hand - but Oberyn outfights him with speed and a poisoned spear. Though most of Oberyn's attacks are deflected by Gregor's plate, Oberyn cleverly attacks the joints in the armor, and eventually wounds Gregor after the Mountain tires from chasing Oberyn. After being poisoned and crippled by numerous wounds, Gregor manages to grab hold of Oberyn and crush him to death. Before killing Oberyn, however, Gregor roars that he killed Elia and Aegon for all to hear.[4] Despite Gregor's victory, Oberyn achieves his revenge for his murdered sister as he had coated his spear with a deadly poison which results in a long, agonizing death by mortification for Gregor.

Tywin Lannister faces huge political ramifications from the results of the trial, especially Gregor's confession. Tywin fears Dorne might join Stannis Baratheon, which could prolong the War of the Five Kings for years. Tywin planned on having Gregor executed to appease House Martell, but needed it to be seen that the King's Justice is the one who carries out the deed, not poison. Tywin commands Grand Maester Pycelle to heal Gregor, but Pycelle's efforts prove fruitless.[27]

A Feast for Crows

Gregor's condition continues to deteriorate. The venom turns the blood in Gregor's body black with gangrene, and any leeches that touch him die instantly. His piss is full of pus, and the venom eats a hole the size of a fist in Gregor's side. His screams of agony are so loud they can be heard in the entire Red Keep, and wake several people up during the night. Qyburn states upon examining him that it is a wonder the man is still alive.[28]

Qyburn brings the insensible and dying Gregor to the dungeons below the Red Keep, where the Mountain's screams can no longer be heard by those above the black cells. Qyburn experiments on Gregor before his impending death, and concludes that the poison was manticore venom thickened with sorcery to draw out the Mountain's dying instead of killing him instantly.[28]

Gregor's skull is to be sent to Sunspear in Dorne as recompense for the deaths of Elia and her children.[29] Qyburn says it took beetles many hours to clean flesh from the bone.[30] Qyburn later mentions working on creating an unbeatable champion for Cersei, and uses several female prisoners in his experiments.[31][32] He has her order a suit of plate armor so thick and heavy that the armorer who created it states that no man is strong enough to move and fight in it.[32]

A Dance with Dragons

Ser Robert Strong by Robert O'Leary

The Mountain's skull is brought to Sunspear by Ser Balon Swann of the Kingsguard, and is presented to Prince Doran Martell, Princess Arianne Martell, and the eldest of the Oberyn's eight bastard daughters (Obara, Tyene and Nymeria Sand). Obara ponders if the head is really Gregor's. Doran notes that it is certainly large enough to be so and Tyene confirms that if the poison her father used so much as broke the Mountain's skin, then Gregor is dead.[33]

Meanwhile, in King's Landing, the death of Ser Arys Oakheart in Dorne leaves a vacancy on the Kingsguard. The imprisoned Queen Cersei Lannister requests that the white cloak be brought to Qyburn,[34] who unveils an enormous eight-foot-tall knight encased from head to heel in gleaming white armor.[35]

Other members of the Kingsguard claim that their new brother does not eat, sleep, drink, or even visit the privy. He is never seen without his armor and never removes his helm. He never speaks and it is claimed by Qyburn that he has taken a holy vow of silence until Cersei's innocence is proven and the realm purged of evil. He wears a helm bearing seven plumes in the colors of the Faith, and his cloak of office is clasped with icons in the shape of seven-pointed stars. Though he is introduced as Ser Robert Strong, many in the Red Keep have guessed the identity of the silent giant. Given the skull being sent to Dorne, it is unknown what will be revealed if that helmet is ever removed.[36]

Quotes by Gregor

A man who sees nothing has no use for his eyes, cut them out and give them to your next outrider. Tell him you hope that four eyes might see better than two ... and if not, the man after him will have six.[17]
- Gregor after the Battle of the Camps


Elia of Dorne. I killed her screaming whelp. Then I raped her. Then I smashed her fucking head in. Like this.[4]
- Gregor to Oberyn Martell

Quotes about Gregor

No one could ever withstand Gregor.[8]
Sandor Clegane to Sansa Stark


Pycelle: The man is an anointed knight.

Marq: A false knight! Lord Tywin's mad dog.[13]

Pycelle and Marq Piper


That beast's head would make a noble gift for all the people of the realm, I vow.[5]
Brynden Tully to Catelyn Stark


No other knight in the realm inspires such terror in our enemies.[11]
Tywin Lannister to Tyrion Lannister


Ellaria: You are going to fight that?

Oberyn: I am going to kill that.[4]

Ellaria Sand and Oberyn Martell


He is dying of the venom, but slowly, and in exquisite agony.[6]
Qyburn to Cersei Lannister


I know the poison that my father used, and there is none slower or more agonizing. Soon we may hear the Mountain screaming, even here in Sunspear.[29]
- Tyene Sand to Doran Martell


The flesh mortifies and the wounds ooze pus. Even maggots will not touch such foulness. His convulsions are so violent that I have had to gag him to prevent him from biting off his own tongue. I have cut away as much tissue as I dare, and treated the rot with boiling wine and bread mold, to no avail. The veins in his arms are turning black. When I leeched him, all the leeches died.[27]
- Pycelle to the small council


She had made the mistake of speaking when Ser Gregor wanted quiet, so the Mountain had smashed her teeth to splinters with a mailed fist and broken her pretty little nose as well. He would have done worse, no doubt, if Cersei had not called him down to King's Landing to face the Red Viper's spear. Jaime would not mourn him.[23]
- Jaime Lannister's thoughts


If ever a man deserved to die screaming, it was Gregor Clegane.[33]
Doran Martell to Balon Swann

Family

 
 
 
 
 
Founder of House Clegane
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unknown Clegane
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gregor "the Mountain"
 
Sandor "the Hound"
 
Unknown daughter
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


See also

References and Notes

  1. See the Gregor Clegane calculation.
  2. HBO: Game of Thrones: cast and crew
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion X.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  6. 6.0 6.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7, Cersei II.
  7. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 47, Arya IX.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
  9. So Spake Martin: Various questions concerning Tywin, Oberyn, Gregor, the North, and Sansa, April 15, 2008
  10. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
  12. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 30, Arya VII.
  13. 13.0 13.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
  14. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 55, Catelyn VIII.
  15. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime I.
  16. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 62, Tyrion VIII.
  17. 17.0 17.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  18. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 26, Arya VI.
  19. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn VI.
  20. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
  21. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 49, Catelyn VI.
  22. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
  23. 23.0 23.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
  24. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
  25. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
  26. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 66, Tyrion IX.
  27. 27.0 27.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
  28. 28.0 28.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 6, Arya I.
  29. 29.0 29.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 2, The Captain Of Guards.
  30. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
  31. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
  32. 32.0 32.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 32, Cersei VII.
  33. 33.0 33.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 38, The Watcher.
  34. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 54, Cersei I.
  35. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 65, Cersei II.
  36. A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.

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